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The Norfolk Broads Forum / General Chat / A report from a new Broadsman
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Posted By Discussion Topic: A report from a new Broadsman

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TedNewman
Sep-22-2012 @ 3:50 PM                           Permalink
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I have been asked to report on our first trip on the Broads and to report on the boat!

First the boat:-

An Alphacraft Rapide which I was worried about as I had read a couple of rather damning reports HOWEVER I need not have been concerned as this boat was easy to ‘’drive’’,  especially with its bow thrusters, and comfortable to live with plus it is designed to go under ALL Broads bridges.

The boat was easy to access from land except when there was a very high tide and then I deployed my secret weapon (an old milk crate) which was placed in a strategic position for our lady guest who suffers very badly from arthritis BUT as it was there we all used it. Getting around the outside is easy as there is a good walk way all the way round the vessel with steps leading up from the lower bow section to higher stern area and this can be accessed either from the stern doors or the upper steering position via a small door. There are hand holds all the way round for those of a nervous disposition and there is a very good open seating area as well as two ‘’sun decks’’.

The steering positions are fine but the seats could do with being somewhat lower but we managed without a problem and without any serious ‘’back aches’’ however we did take it in turns to steer although I did do the lions share.

The cabins were fine with a two drawer cabinet and a three quarter sized hanging cupboard in each plus there is a full sized wardrobe in the lounge area. The beds were snug but comfortable even for me and I am not small.  The toilets were a little strange but absolutely usable even if not designed to read the newspaper on! Plus the area was a ‘’wet room’ so you either just wash or have a shower and there is plenty of hot water.

Head room was fine along the main walking and working areas but a little confined behind the large lounge table – you just had to remember when standing up!

The galley was well equipped with gas hob, oven and grill plus a large 12 volt electric fridge. There was also a microwave and a toaster, neither of which we used.  The boat was well stocked with all other equipment such as pots, pans, crockery and cutlery.

In the lounge area there was a 240 volt flat screen TV and DVD plus Playstation .

The boat was heated by a powerful diesel heater with a 12 volt fan air blower which warmed the boat up rapidly BUT it was needed to keep it on full time as it was very cold in the evenings and not that warm during the day although we did not get any rain.

Here the boat showed its limitations as to keep the 12 volt system batteries charged we often had to run the engine when moored.  The boat employs three separate electrical circuits :- two batteries for the 12 volts, two batteries with an inverter for the 240 volts and a dedicated battery for the engine BUT it lacked a ‘’shore connection’’ for the electrics so it relied entirely on its own batteries and charging systems – personally I would either scrap the 240 volts and dedicate all four batteries to 12 volts or add a ‘’shore connector’’.  TVs come in all shapes and form at 12 volts and one can toast bread under the grill plus a microwave is not an essential for life!

Now for the trip:-

There were four of us all novices and made more difficult that my wife’s cousin and husband speak no English so I could not shout instructions on mooring but relied on my wife to translate.

Not knowing what to expect never having driven a boat before I was surprised how relatively easy it is – providing one takes the good advice given on this (and other ) forums and takes it slowly and it is imperative to know your knots.

Our first night we spent at Brampton, unfortunately the pub was closed but we had brought food along with us so the ‘’girls’’ cooked up a splendid meal plus the actual moorings were very quiet.

The second day we visited, Rockland Broad then Lodden for lunch – a pretty little town – we then proceeded to Reedham, where we walked around the village and decided to stay for the night and have our evening meal in the Lord Nelson, the food was good and plentiful and the staff cheerful BUT the pub was not heated and we had to sit in our anoraks.

The third day we followed the Yare to Breydon BUT did not cross it!  We just turned down the Waveny stopping at Burgh Castle for morning coffee and a walk along the bank. After that we sailed on towards Burgh St Peter for lunch, passing under St Olaves bridge and Somerleyton Bridge where the water was extremely high but we made it with about 3 inches to spare without lowering the windshield.  At the Waveny River Centre we explored a little then had lunch before continuing to Beccles for the night.  Beccles really is a lovely little town and the yacht station very accommodating so we enjoyed our stop here.

On the fourth day we sailed back towards Brundall stopping at Reedham again for our lunch this time – here the Broads Authority Ranger insisted we moored outside the Lord Nelson despite the ‘’Private Moorings’’ sign as he said that all the mooring came under the Broad Authority jurisdiction and the Lord Nelson had no rights to put up this sign! We then sailed up stream going via Surlingham Broad  to the Ferry House for the night – an excellent stop with a first rate pub where we had our last evenings meal  - good food, well cooked and presented by very friendly staff.

The fifth and final day was just a forty minute ‘’drive’’ back to Brundall where I was very pleased with my efforts and managed to get the boat right back into its original parking position!

The weather could have been warmer but it never rained on us so we all stayed ‘’on top’’ for the whole trip which we thoroughly enjoyed – I am now planning the next trip for just the two of us perhaps next Spring time – any tips on an excellent two berth vessel, whilst I won’t go as far as to say money does not count, the class and luxury of the boat is of paramount importance.

Finally many, many thanks to all of you that took time to offer advice, tips and general information as this was invaluable to us. Cheers

Ted & Karin Newman plus Michael & Gisela Temme



This message was edited by TedNewman on Sep-22-12 @ 4:52 PM

BroadAmbition
Sep-22-2012 @ 4:35 PM                           Permalink
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Nice write up Ted,

Tks,


Griff

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boat-mad
Sep-22-2012 @ 4:44 PM                           Permalink
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Ted Hi,
Glad you enjoyed yourself.  If you fancy a luxury 2 berth I can recommend Swan Roamer.  Thats if you are happy with a bathtub as they seem to affectionately be called.  It has a walk around bed whirlpool bath and is real luxury.  Split sliding canopy and a bowthruster which as you now know is very useful. There are several pictures on the slideshow on my web site. As Roamer was booked I am on Swan Rapture for a week which is very similar starting next friday Sept 28. Will be on will go from southern to northern broads from monday till wednesday. .  Some friends consisting of 3 couples are on Alpha Vulcan this week and we will be meeting them on their last night being our first night. Cant wait.

Kind Regards
Alan...
www.mynorfolkbroadsboating.co.uk/


This message was edited by boat-mad on Sep-22-12 @ 5:47 PM

CPW2006
Sep-22-2012 @ 4:48 PM                           Permalink
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That's a good report Ted - thank you.  Especially interesting as we are hiring Rapide from 12th - 19th Oct and your report on the boat has been useful for us! We are prepared for the cold nights (have been on the Broads before during the "cooler" months) so that will not be a problem.  How was the TV reception and the aerial?  We will also be staying on the southern broads for the week due to the tide slack water times being unhelpful for the week we are there!  We had Brilliant Emblem last year from Ferry Marina so are used to the size of boat etc although this time there will only be the two of us on board Rapide!  Glad you enjoyed your hols - we are counting down the days (or rather the forum is doing it for us  Smile )


Chris (the older one!)and Brenda (the younger one!) Confirmed Stinkies - don't do flappy things!!

TedNewman
Sep-22-2012 @ 5:07 PM                           Permalink
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Hi there

Glad you found the report helpful.

The TV aerial is a standard house type one mounted on a pole next to the upper steering position - just line it up as on nearby buildings and it is fine.

londonrascal
Sep-22-2012 @ 5:36 PM                           Permalink
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Good to read your write up.

I remember reading your threads when you were worried about what to expect and how to handle the boat etc.  See - not so hard after all Smile

I must admit the battery situation you describe is becoming something of a regular report in holidays tales - I accept you used your heating a lot but still you had a good time and sure will cause many other 'newbie’s' to see going on a boating holiday is full of fun and not of trepidation.



| Robin |
     
LONDON STYLE (Gangnam Style)


Grendel
Sep-22-2012 @ 9:16 PM                           Permalink
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one item we found useful when on the broads was a hot water bottle each - saved a lot of bother with using the heater.
Grendel

we do the impossible every day, miracles take a little longer

JimboC
Sep-23-2012 @ 3:06 PM                           Permalink
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We couldn't get tv reception at Brammerton while on Alpha Swift, neither could Alpha Rapide which was moored in front of us but that didn't spoil our stays there, such a lovely place to moor up for the night.

                Jim

16E
Sep-23-2012 @ 3:27 PM                           Permalink
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Brammerton has always been a black-hole for tv reception, probably the worst spot in the area.

There is quite a cliff behind the houses and pub - they have have ariels on massive poles and the Tacolneston transmitter is a few miles to the south west so the moorings are in a big shadow with no line-of-sight.

Mal
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HarryDaTiger
Sep-24-2012 @ 7:49 AM                           Permalink
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Nice boat report.

Please cut and paste it here

http://www.the-norfolk-broads.co.uk/bd.cfm?id=209

As the last report is 6 years old.

H

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